Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Month: May 2013


Five Minute Friday

Singing is powerful.  I never realised how powerful it is until I was ill three years ago.  The only way to battle the darkness that sometimes threatened to engulf me was to sing.  And not just any old song:  hymns, choruses, spiritual songs and Psalms were what I sang. There is a well-known Christian chorus:

All hail the Lamb, enthroned on high, His praise shall be our battle cry….

which I had never taken it seriously before, just thought it was an emotional, not very substantial song.  But it’s real.  A follower of Jesus really can do battle through praise.  I battled the last part of my illness for four months by praising God, yep just by singing.  And at the end of that four months He healed me from the illness.

Even now, if I’m having a bad day or if life feels overwhelming, I know that by listening to worship songs (or better yet, singing), hope and joy begin to rise again in me.  Some of my favourite verses are from Psalm 40 because they describe so well how God rescued me out of the darkness of sin and illness, giving me a new song to sing:

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as  I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

Yielded Captive

Yielded Captive

Yielded Captive is a great title for this book:  it took me captive!  What a page turner, I just couldn’t put it down.  I started reading it on the bus, having no idea how emotionally involved I would get with the characters (please don’t let me cry, Lord!).  Dalaina May jumps right into the story, grabs the reader’s interest, and away you go with her on a dramatic journey deep into the Peruvian jungles.

The main character is a young woman called Allison who, with her husband Eric, has dedicated her life to reaching the Shampiri tribe for Jesus.  The story opens with Shampiri warriers shooting Eric and the small missionary team with arrows, while capturing Allison and their toddler son Isaac.  After a long, exhausting trek through the jungle with the warriers, Allison is dismayed at being given to the Shampiri chief as his wife.

Grieving for the loss of her husband, raped repeatedly by the man she is forced to live with, and unable to communicate with those around her, Allison contemplates ending her life.  How could God put her in such an awful situation?  What purpose could He possibly have in allowing this to happen?

You will have to read the book for yourself to discover the wonderful – and unexpected – things God accomplishes through Allison living with this tribe, and the gracious way in which He grows spiritual fruit in her life. There are twists and turns along the way to keep the reader on her toes.

I loved this book, in fact I read it twice in three weeks!  I’ve even bought a copy for a friend’s birthday (ssshh, don’t tell).  It’s got everything in it: drama, love, adventure, romance, suspense.  I can’t recommend it highly enough, and I hope Dalaina May keeps writing books because I would love to read them.

I’m grateful to BottomLine Media for giving me a free ecopy of this book for the purpose of writing a review.



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